Stranger of Paradise Review
In celebration of it’s 35th anniversary, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is an alternate universe reimagination of the original Square Enix NES classic ‘Final Fantasy’.
Developed by Team Ninja and published by Square Enix, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin tells the story of a group of characters brought together from merging worlds, to kill the evil-minded being known as Chaos.
Main protagonist Jack Garland is consumed by a need to destroy this evil being (slight nod to the reference from the first Final Fantasy game, where the horned Chaos was the final boss and main antagonist of that particular game). Joined by his two companions Jed and Ash, they explore the open world environments and fight monsters from previous Final Fantasy titles.
‘An alternate universe reimagination of the original Square Enix NES classic’
Here at 1st11, we played the demo on PS4 and the graphics are absolutely gorgeous. The cinematics make you feel like you’re watching an actual Final Fantasy film.
The opening scene sees a dark and mysterious character, a force not to be reckoned with absolutely wreaking havoc on what appears to be some kind of castle interior. Let’s just say that the body count is pretty high with this one, so maybe this character is pinned as a boss fight for much later on in the game.
After a short load screen, we are introduced to our first boss fight where Jack and his companions are forced to battle a many headed dragon hydra, with a beam blast as it’s main characteristic. Here, you are also introduced to a selection of battle tactics and buttons to help guide you through this boss fight. Jack’s new sword seems very similar to that of Cloud’s sword from previous Final Fantasy games (the shape and colour attributes are red and silver), certainly looks the part and wields a great deal of power when fighting this creature.
‘The graphics are absolutely gorgeous’
The combat system intro scene is played out to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” song, which perhaps hints at an emotional, tragic past to that of Jack Garland. You are introduced to an array of combat actions with a soul burst
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins was designed in mind, for players who aren’t too familiar with the franchise, It is pretty easy to navigate through, and allows for a much deeper experience into the game itself. It does however carry a slight Soulsborne feel to it too.
The demo itself is about 20 minutes long and offers something called Cubes located in Chaos Shrines. Here, you can restore your HP, MP and refilling potions. Using the D-Pad, you are also able to activate a companion’s resonance state, meaning that either Jed or Ash can use their abilities more aggressively.
It’s nice to know that the AI’s are great at assisting you in battle when you need them the most!
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins also offers something called Battle settings, which allows Jack to use an array of different weapons and fighting styles (much like that of Devil May Cry 3), so you are not just limited to one weapon.
Much like the other Final Fantasy games, Stranger of Paradise has the classic skill tree, which allows you to unlock what’s know as Job Points. As you play through the game, you’ll level up and be rewarded with these. They can also be accessed from various locations including cubes and the world map.
Here at 1st11, we really enjoyed playing the demo for Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin on PS4. It felt more like a fun, hack and slash game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The visuals are really nice, the soundtrack is great and the AI of Jack’s companions Jed and Ash, actually do a really decent job of destroying enemies, rather than just standing there doing nothing. It’s nice to know that the AI’s are great at assisting you in battle when you need them the most!
The game is due to be released on March 18th 2022 and is available on the following platforms: Playstation 4 (PS4), Playstation 5 (PS5), Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Microsoft Windows.
Go forth and happy hunting!